Cade's Corner: So, What Is A Survival Plan?

Ninety percent of surviving a life-threatening situation is preparation. And the best place to start is by creating a survival plan.

So, what is a survival plan? It's a comprehensive plan of action to address the following, based on your geographic location, weather/environment and greatest risks (hurricane, home invasion, earthquake, tornado, etc):

1. Mental Mindset

2. Emergency Supplies (food, water)

3. Survival Gear

4. Emergency Action Checklists

Think of it as a "game plan" that a football team would use to beat a rival team during a Sunday game – but for surviving.

Like any good coach preparing for the big game, you need to do a little homework in the form of a threat assessment.

Determine the 5 greatest threats, either natural or man-made, that are historically present in the area where you live. Do a local search for crime rate statistics as well. An emergency plan for someone living in Florida will be very different from that used by someone living in Alaska.

Simply Google "5 greatest threats to {{contact.billing_city}}." You will see dozens of search results, and in less than an hour you'll have a great idea of what you need to prepare for.

Survival Plan

1. Mental – It all starts with a survival mindset and first embracing the concept that, "If this happens to me, I'll be ready." Yes, you need to prepare your mind if you want to survive one of these events.

This includes increasing your situational awareness. Take the time to look around. The more you make this part of your daily life, the better you will become at keying in on potentially life-threatening situations.

Another huge mental aspect to survival preparation is visualization. This is a form of rehearsal in your mind.

Here is the general concept: imagine yourself in a life-threatening situation, and mentally go through the steps from start to finish of what you would do. By doing this you will be much more prepared if/when you actually find yourself in that situation.

WHY? Because by using a visualization exercise you have chipped away at the fear of the unknown, and with familiarity comes confidence to overcome.

2. Emergency Supplies – Start this by assuming you will need to plan to have enough food and water for you and anyone with you to live unassisted for a minimum of 10 days. And with the delicious Survival Food Kits 4Patriots offers, this is a simple box you can check.

But don't stop there.... You need to make sure you have plenty of water. Again, in a disaster situation, don't assume the water will flow from the sink or the lights will come on. You can get bottled water at the grocery store or grab the heavy duty water storage tubs. Just make sure you replace your water annually.

Another great recommendation in a pinch is to drain water from your hot water heater, which is perfectly safe, and many hold 50+ gallons.

3. Survival Gear – I have probably written and spoken more about this topic than any other, so I will stay with the broad strokes here. You should put together a bug-out bag (a.k.a. "Go Bag"). This is a lightweight bag or backpack filled with multi-use survival equipment meant to keep you alive for 24-72 hours.

I recommend keeping one in your bedroom, at work and in your car, and have one for everyone in your family.

As we often said in the SEAL Teams, "Two is one, one is none." The basic idea behind two is one, one is none is to have multiple methods to accomplish certain goals and tasks. So if one fails, you've got a backup at the ready.

Another very important thing to think about is POWER. Again, you need to plan on being on your own without assistance for at least 10 days, and that includes no power.

Make sure you have a backup power supply for not just your critical devices – like your phone, or even your fridge – but even smaller devices like flashlights and radios. (I always am sure to keep a good supply of batteries on hand for emergency situations.)

4. Emergency Action Checklists – I spoke earlier about visualization exercises to help mentally rehearse for a survival situation, and a threat assessment to compile for your city.

The Emergency Action Checklists bring all of this together. Pilots love checklists because they work and are very effective during heightened levels of anxiety/stress.

Start with your 5 greatest threats and make a list of what to do from start to finish for each. Go through it several times until you feel like you have addressed every possible contingency.

You've heard what can happen to a "good plan" in a crisis. Be ready for this.

Be a survivor, not a statistic,

Cade Courtley
Former Navy SEAL / 4Patriots Contributor

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